I first knew of Erik when he was starring as the 'Head in the Box' on VBTV. (I wish I had a pic for you - you'll just have to watch it...). I remember watching the show as part of my researching Microsoft during the interview process for Microsoft UK. Little did I know then that years later I'd be working in an office in Redmond, across the corridor from the very man who's head I watched with awe and some bemusement. Now I get to see his shirts too.
Maybe Erik's Head in the Box experiences explains why he keeps a penguin in a box in his office.
Erik is a smart cookie. Before joining Microsoft, he was an associate professor at Utrecht University working on advanced scripting languages such as Haskell, XMLambda, and Mondrian and other things that sound like dances in Brazil.
Here's one patent he holds:
In fact, he hold several patents...
He mentioned that he has more of these blocks tucked away somewhere.
What's he doing in the Data Programmability team? That's what I wanted to know, so got I him in a room with Charles on Channel 9.